BCE announces significant workforce restructuring and radio station sales

In a major corporate move, Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) Inc. has declared its most extensive workforce restructuring initiative in almost three decades, with plans to reduce approximately 4,800 positions, constituting 9 per cent of the total BCE workforce in 2024. The primary objective behind this substantial workforce reduction is to achieve cost savings for the company.

As part of this comprehensive restructuring initiative, Bell Media is set to divest 45 of its 103 radio stations to seven different buyers. However, this decision is subject to review by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and other closing conditions.

Three radio stations in Niagara Region–CKTB 610 AM, CHRE 105.7 FM, and CHTZ 97.7 FM–are among those to be sold by Bell Media. These stations all operate from the same downtown St. Catharines building at 12 Yates St.

This move reflects the latest in a series of cuts implemented by Bell Media. According to statements from Bell’s chief legal and regulatory officer, Robert Malcomson, the decision to sell these particular radio stations is driven by their perceived lack of viability in the current business landscape. Malcomson emphasized BCE’s commitment to a digital transformation in both entertainment and news.

The three Niagara stations will be acquired by Oakville-based Whiteoaks Communications Group (WCG) Ltd. WCG currently owns CJYE 1250 AM, a Christian-based station in Toronto, as well as the Christian podcast site Faith Strong Today. The impact of this change on the content and format of rock station HTZ-FM remains uncertain, raising questions about how it will align with the values and programming preferences of its new owners.

In response to these developments, Fort Erie Radio wishes to reaffirm its commitment to remain independently owned and operated. This commitment aims to provide the residents of Fort Erie with a continued source for news, rock, and local talk. Fort Erie Radio assures its audience that it will persist in delivering these services despite the broader changes within the broadcasting landscape.

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